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Give us Telling and Let us Fix it : Conversation question • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
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DrG2
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby DrG2 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:26 am


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onceuponwednesday
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby onceuponwednesday » Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:54 am

The Rule of Three

TerryRodgers
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby TerryRodgers » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:26 am

There are so many ways to tell or show a story that you will receive a lot of different answers. There's no way you can show an entire 100k novel. There will be sentences that are telling, and there will be sentences that are showing. A great writer knows how to combine them into a great story. I believe the issue comes when you go into complete telling mode and spend several pages telling a reader about a scene, backdrop, or flashback, essentially an info dump. Like I mentioned before, mix it all together without clumping in pages of exposition. :D

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mammamaia
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby mammamaia » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:10 am

ALL 6 e-book collections of my work are FREE...email me with "want free books" in subject line and include a message.

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onceuponwednesday
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby onceuponwednesday » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:51 pm

This is what Chuck Palahniuk said about it.

The Rule of Three

James A. Ritchie
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby James A. Ritchie » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:30 pm


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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby TLCole » Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:48 pm

I'm clearly in over my head here, but I'm going to ask anyway. What does, "I thought the chocolate tasted good" have to do with imitating a wine review? Also, am I understanding this correctly? That the lines between showing and telling can be blurred? I thought it was black and white. Can I see it? No. Then you are telling me. I have researched telling vs showing and the easiest way I found to "get it" is "can a camera see it"? So... going with that, a camera can't "see" that someone thought chocolate tasted good. So that means, telling, right? I think a lot of things taste good. I thought the fish tacos last night not just tasted good but were out of this world. No way a camera or folks sitting by me would have known that thought. So my writing, "I thought the fish tacos tasted good" would be telling, wouldn't it? I didn't show those around me that the tacos were good. I only thought it. Please, help me out here. I really, truly am trying to understand this but I am reading conflicting ideas.
Thank you so much!
Theresa

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onceuponwednesday
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby onceuponwednesday » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:55 pm

The Rule of Three

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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby James A. Ritchie » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:42 pm


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mammamaia
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Re: Give us Telling and Let us Fix it

Postby mammamaia » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:06 am

you have a good grasp of the difference with that camera test, tl... i'd only add that other senses than 'sight' can be involved in the 'showing...

for instance, in my chocolate example you 'see' that it's the foot of a chocolate bunny... but you can also 'feel' it melt in the character's mouth, imagine the taste, and relate to her experiencing other bodily sensations...

my other two examples are a combination of actions/reactions that clearly depict the emotions of the characters...
ALL 6 e-book collections of my work are FREE...email me with "want free books" in subject line and include a message.

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